Last updated on: 8/24/2010 | Author:

Can my current insurance cancel my coverage if I get sick?

PRO (yes)


[Editor’s Note: We have been unable to find any pros to this question, and if you know of any, please let us know. Aug. 23, 2010]

CON (no)


US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided in its June 22, 2010 fact sheet “The Affordable Care Act’s New Patient’s Bill of Rights” on

“…[S]tarting on or after September 23, 2010…

[I]nsurers and plans will be prohibited from rescinding coverage – for individuals or groups of people – except in cases involving fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of material facts. Insurers and plans seeking to rescind coverage must provide at least 30 days advance notice to give people time to appeal. There are no exceptions to this policy.”

June 22, 2010


Dan Pfeiffer, White House Communications Director, wrote in the Apr. 28, 2010 White House Blog post “Care You Can Count on When You Need It Most – Reform Ramps Up”:

“One of the most important reforms included in the Affordable Care Act is the ban on what the insurance companies call ‘rescissions’ – cancelling your coverage when you get sick. The ban wasn’t scheduled to go into effect until September [2010], but in a clear sign of momentum for changing the health care status quo, the health insurance industry announced today that they’ll be complying with the ban starting in May.”

Apr. 28, 2010


The New York Times provided the following in its Prescriptions blog’s June 9, 2010 post “When Am I Safe from Rescission” by Michelle Andrews:

“Once an insurer accepts someone, individual plans are not supposed to drop enrollees if they get sick. But there have been a number of well publicized examples of ‘rescissions’ in recent years in which the insurer did just that.

With the passage of the new health care law, that should change. ‘The rules are much tighter now,’ Ms. Tolbert [Jennifer Tolber, Principal Policy Analyst of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured] said. The new provision takes effect whenever people renew their policies or sign up for new ones after Sept. 23 [2010], after which time insurers can only rescind coverage if someone commits fraud — by lying on an application, for example.”

June 9, 2010